WEED, Calif. — The water that gurgles from a spring on the edge of this Northern California logging town is so pristine that for more than a century it has been piped directly to the wooden homes spread across hills and gullies.
To the residents of Weed, which sits in the foothills of Mount Shasta, a snow-capped dormant volcano, the spring water is a blessing during a time of severe and prolonged drought.
To the lumber company that owns the land where the spring is, the water is a business opportunity.
Roseburg Forest Products, an Oregon-based company that owns the pine forest where the spring surfaces, is demanding that the city of Weed get its water elsewhere.
“The city needs to actively look for another source of water,” said Ellen Porter, the director of environmental affairs for Roseburg who led the company’s negotiations with the city. “Roseburg is not in a position to guarantee the availability of that water for a long period of time.”
For the past 50 years, the company charged the city $1 a year for use of water from the Beaughan Spring. As of July, it began charging $97,500 annually. A contract signed this year directs the city to look for alternative sources.
Tuesday, October 04, 2016
The Bastards Up The Road